Remember when we reported on Tesla vehicles being damaged by puddles? Well, it seems it also happens to Rivian's EVs. More specifically, a Rivian R1T electric pickup truck owned by YouTube and social media influencer Branden Flasch reportedly fell victim to a puddle.
Branden wasn't out racing his Rivian R1T or filming crazy footage for his YouTube channel when the incident occurred. Instead, he says he was just driving to work, he drove through a puddle, and the rearmost underbody panel was ripped off. It was a three- to four-inch deep puddle, but an off-road pickup truck with good ground clearance should have arguably handled it well enough, right?
He was able to backtrack and find the panel, which was pretty beaten up, so he took some pictures and got in touch with Rivian. The automaker sent a mobile technician to inspect the R1T to figure out how bad the damage was and assess whether mobile work would be possible. Apparently, Rivian isn't allowed to have service centers in North Carolina or South Carolina, so a mobile solution would have been nice, but it wasn't possible.
Branden ended up taking his R1T to Rivian's Atlanta Service Center, which is about a five-hour road trip each way. He dropped the electric truck off on a Saturday, grabbed a loaner car, and left the R1T there for a week. Thankfully, Rivian fully repaired it free of charge, though it took some time for the automaker to determine whether the repairs should really be under warranty, or if the owner should be to blame for the damage.
Branden is honest to share that while he was impressed with Rivian's decision not to charge him, he can't say with 100% certainty that they would do the same for everyone else. Being that the automaker is aware he has a social media presence and makes YouTube videos about such experiences, it was clearly in their best interest to help him without any trouble. We can only hope that the startup automaker would do the same for anyone, because, clearly, it's the right thing to do.
The video goes into much detail about the specific damage, what was replaced, and the Rivian service experience as a whole. If you're considering buying a new EV, especially one from a startup like Rivian, it would be wise to do your homework and find out if there are service centers near you. Reach out to some other owners and see if they have any experiences to share.
Meanwhile, Branden's video is well worth the ~12 minutes it takes to watch, and hopefully, it will help you as you do your research. Once you've had a chance to check it out, scroll down and leave us your takeaways.